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After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Though busy and with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look… at both the building and the man behind it.
With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett is happy to give Clare a private tour - one room at a time, in between blueprint meetings and kindergarten pickups. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something that could arouse the secret yearning that resides in Clare’s independent heart - and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next....
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Lynne Phelps on 05-04-12
You need to Set your MP3 Playback to FASTER!
I really enjoyed this story. I just finished the second story, and I thought I would share my comments here also as they apply equally to both. The narration was driving me INSANE - he speaks so slowly and deliberately. Then I found the setting to speed up the audiobook playback to faster. WHAT a relief, I am actually enjoying the story now. His female voices are still poor and his kids' voices make me cringe. All the adult characters sound very similar except Ryder. Too bad this is Beckett's story. I like the family, I like the locale, and I like the pets, especially D.A. (Dumb Ass)!
The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy is also very unusual, in that Boonsboro is a real town and the businesses named really exist and are actually owned by Nora Roberts and/or her family. They rehabbed the historic inn, had a terrible fire while it was under construction and had to start over. You can actually go and stay in the rooms, which are all named after famous fictional couples, although I suspect the ghost in the Elizabeth & Darcy room is a literary device! I also thought it was great fun that they have an Eve & Roarke room, the husband and wife team that is featured in 40+ Eve Dallas stories by Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb (my all-time FAVORITE series, with fantastic narration by Susan Erickson; what a joy they are to listen to!)
Turn the Page Bookstore is owned by the Roberts and it is where all her book signings take place, in fact it is the only bookstore to offered books signed by the Nora. Vesta Pizza is real and really offers room service to the Inn, and Gifts Inn Boonsboro is real too. If you go to Nora's website there is a link to the bookstore and Inn.
I think it is fun that she used her actual experiences of going through the rehab, setting her fictional characters against a true setting. But I think I would like it better if Nora was open about her connection to these businesses. Without the open acknowledgement, it smacks a bit of a sneaky marketing ploy. I wouldn't mind if she was up front about the connection. Perhaps there will be an acknowledgement at the end of the third book when it comes out.
Still, I am enjoying the series very much and will probably listen again, now that I found out how to set my audiobook playback to FASTER! Sure wish we did not have to wait so long for the final installment!
98 of 105 people found this review helpful
By Kathleen Carroll Palmer on 11-20-11
A good beginning for a new trilogy.
I read Nora Roberts’ very first book. I haven’t read ALL the books she’s written since. That would almost be a full-time job. I don’t know how she manages to be so prolific while maintaining the quality level she does. But I have read and enjoyed many of her books (and even disliked a few of them). So now comes this newest book, the first of a new trilogy in a town called BoonsBoro.
BoonsBoro is very much like Mitford (without the religion). It is even in the same general region of the country. I think all of us yearn at times to live in a small town like this where everyone is your friend. Where there are plenty of people ready and willing to help out a neighbor. I can’t tell you what a pleasant change this is from a typical novel written by men in which the vast majority of people are jerks–incompetent, undependable, unhelpful, and stupid.
Yes, BoonsBoro and Mitford are fictional, utopian. But so very many towns written by men are just as fictional, dystopian. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a hard-bitten detective who’s seen too much of life fighting his way through all the unpleasant people to solve the brutal murder, yada, yada, yada. But sometimes my soul is feeling trampled, and I want something healing. This book really filled the bill. I will be listening to it again and again when I’m feeling in need of comfort.
One reviewer said this book was somewhat predictable. And so it is. Also predictable are murder mysteries with tough-as-nails private dicks. What matters within a given genre is not whether it is predictable but how well it carries out its tale within the parameters of that genre. I found that this book did an outstanding job. I loved the town, I loved the inn, and I loved the people (especially the children). Every novel needs some conflict to fuel the plot; even a novel as cozy as this one. I thought she did a good job with that too.
I see that several reviewers didn’t like the narrator. I liked him a lot. Where someone found his narration flat, I found it relaxed and laid back–completely congruent with the story. There have been a few occasions when I absolutely couldn’t listen to a romance novel narrated by a man. I pictured the actor reading this romance stuff and could only imagine him hating every moment of it and hating the fact that the need for money forced him to do this sort of distasteful work. Not with this narrator. I felt that he was enjoying the story too. I don’t imagine I really know the inner workings of the narrator’s mind, but I felt very comfortable with his narration. Also, someone hated the way he handled the kids’ voices. I thought the way he did them was a total hoot. I liked it.
So to sum up... If you just finished a hard-hitting political thriller by Clancy or Ludlum and want more of the same, keep looking; this isn’t it. However, if you just finished reading a hard-hitting political thriller and now want something calming and sweet to get all that evil out of your head, this is the book. I really enjoyed it. I hope you will too.
91 of 98 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By tina on 04-07-13
I have always enjoyed Nora Roberts books and going audible has been the best thing ever, as Macleod Andrews, has completely brought the book to life. Any chore which I used to dread, I couldn't wait to do, as it meant I could listen to this book as I cleaned, ironed and took the dog out (in the rain!). Nora Roberts is amazing at connecting you with real characters and I have so enjoyed getting to know Claire and Beckett. I feel connected and that is what a good book does. Brilliant!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Gillian on 01-29-15
Enjoyed every minute was really sad when it ended
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes I would. It was a really good story and I was left wanting more. I hope there are going to be sequels where the other friends get a good life too.
What other book might you compare The Next Always to, and why?
I wouldn't compare it to anything. I thought it was quite original in it's story especially a woman with three kids getting a love life!
What does MacLeod Andrews bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
I enjoyed his reading very much as he brought the characters to life. The choice of narrator is extremely important to a story and I think whoever chose MacLeod Andrews got it spot on with this book.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Widowed, business woman with three kids gets herself a love life....there's hope for the rest of us yet!!!
Any additional comments?
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and could have listened for a whole lot longer. I really wanted her friends to end up with his brothers too....but, that could be a whole other book!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Marion on 01-31-14
Absolute rubbish - couldn't finish
What disappointed you about The Next Always?
Too much introduction. Have read many Nora Roberts's books and been impressed but this one I couldn't take.
What was most disappointing about Nora Roberts’s story?
Characters were too perfect as were their capabilities. Not prepared to keep listening in the hope the usual twists and mysteries might evolve
Did MacLeod Andrews do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?
Yes, as far as I listened.
What character would you cut from The Next Always?
Any additional comments?
Ms Roberts would have been wiser to make this into ONE book instead of reeling it out to a Trilogy - in my opinion
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Catherine on 03-10-18
Captivating and romantic and light hearted
It keeps you enthralled the complete book from chapter one to the last word. Nora Roberts has done a fantastic job again. Bring on book two